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Adolescent Instructional Practices

2018 SPDG Adolescent Instructional Practices

Organizing Themes:


Improving Adolescent Literacy: Effective Classroom and Intervention Practices
This guide presents strategies that classroom teachers and specialists can use to increase the reading ability of adolescent students. The recommendations aim to help students gain more from their reading tasks, improve their motivation for and engagement in the learning process, and assist struggling readers who may need intensive and individualized attention.

Effective Instruction for Adolescent Struggling Readers – Second Edition
This second edition of the Effective Instruction for Adolescent Struggling Readers professional development module is a revision of the 2008 version and presents information based on findings from Interventions for Adolescent Struggling Readers: A Meta-Analysis with Implications for Practice (Scammacca et al., 2007) and recommendations discussed in Improving Adolescent Literacy: Effective Classroom and Intervention Practices: A Practice Guide from IES (Kamil et al., 2008).

Secondary Reading Instruction Secondary Reading Instruction (Part 2): Deepening Middle School Content-Area Learning with Vocabulary and Comprehension Strategies (
This Module examines some of the reasons that adolescents struggle with content-area text and overviews effective strategies teachers can use to improve the vocabulary and comprehension skills of students with a wide range of abilities and across a variety of subjects (est. completion time: 1.5 hours).

The IRIS Center: Reading Comprehension: Comparing High & Low Achievers”>
Reading in the content areas (e.g., social studies, science) is quite different from reading for enjoyment. A surprising number of middle and high school students lack academic literacy skills and would benefit from explicit content-area reading instruction. This is especially the case for students with a learning disability (LD) because they often have difficulty processing information, which affects their ability to comprehend text.

Doing What Works Adolescent Literacy Reources

Sample Resources:
Learning Together About Tiered Instruction for Struggling Readers
This tool can help teachers understand the importance of providing a tiered model of instructional delivery for struggling adolescent readers. Tiered interventions provide varying levels of program intensity, focus,and length of time dedicated to additional instruction to match the needs of individual students.

Using Data: Student Work Review and Planning Protocol
This protocol can be used by reading specialists and language arts coordinators to conduct an instructional team meeting to examine an individual student’s work across content areas and discuss questions or concerns teachers have raised about the student’s progress. The goal of this meeting is to plan a reading intervention based on the data and matched to the student’s level of need and intensity.

Adolescent Literacy: What’s Technology Got to Do With It?
Learn how technology tools can support struggling students and those with learning disabilities to acquire background knowledge and vocabulary, improve their reading comprehension, and increase their motivation for learning.

Math Top

High Quality Math Instruction: What Teachers Should Know (IRIS Module) On-line tool designed to assist teachers in evaluating mathematics curricula and improving their classroom practices. It focuses on aligning teaching to national and state standards and using evidence-based classroom practices. This module is the first in a series that is being developed and builds on previous modules for literacy.

Algebra resources from Doing What Works

Behavior Top

What are some things we need to consider when thinking about students with intensive behavioral needs at the secondary level?
In this video, Nicole Bucka, M.Ed. MTSS Technical Assistance Provider in Rhode Island and NCII Coach, shares considerations for supporting students with intensive behavioral needs at the secondary level.

Reducing Behavior Problems (assorted resources from Doing What Works)

Managing Adolescent Behavior: A Multiyear, Multischool Study

Classroom-based Interventions Manual
These materials have been developed to assist school personnel in their efforts to improve support for students with emotional/behavioral disabilities and those at high risk. Downloading single personal copies is permissible; however, photocopying multiple copies of these materials for sale is forbidden without express written permission by the Center for Adolescent Research in Schools. Visit